Catherine Evans is a city-born throwback to country genes. After completing an Environmental Biology degree, she desperately needed to move to the country. A job in agriculture was the perfect escape. After spending eighteen years in agricultural research and gaining a Masters degree in Agriculture, Cath has a passion for rural life.
Now living on the south coast of NSW, a large part of her heart belongs across the mountain ranges in the red dust.
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I worked for Department of Agriculture / NSW Agriculture / NSW DPI from 1991 to 2002, and then with Central West Farming Systems (CWFS; a farmer-run research group, working from the Ag Station at Condobolin) until 2005.
I was in Wagga Wagga from 1991 to 1999, and Condobolin until 2008.
Initially I worked on Acid Soils research and was laboratory-based. Sometimes I could help out in the paddock, if I was good :)
In Wagga Wagga I worked on 3 projects, the second and third being largely paddock-based work. I loved the farm work, even if it was a steep learning curve for this city-born girl!
In Condobolin I worked on a more general soils project, with more farmer interaction, and loved that too.
CWFS wasn't so much looking at soils but at the whole farm. Our major research project compared different farming systems, but we had lots of smaller projects in Condobolin and scattered across central western NSW.
We did a lot of collaborative work with CSIRO, NSW DPI, and other farming system groups and their state departments.
I wrote a few scientific papers, which are quite different to my stories!
When we moved to the south coast, I did some work at NSW DPI Berry, where I worked with dairy farmers and small landholders. It was fascinatingly different.
I've been very lucky to have amazing agricultural experiences where I have learned all manner of things. I hope I can incorporate some of these in my writing.
Born and raised in Sydney. During school, I hoped to meet a boarder who came from a farm, where an older brother would fall madly in love with me and I'd live happily ever after on an outback property (like in the books I read). It didn't happen!
University at UTS studying Environmental Biology, where I hoped to get a job as a Park Ranger doing animal research. It didn't happen either!
Got a job in Wagga Wagga with the Department of Agriculture. I loved it!
Studied at CSU doing a masters in agriculture.
Moved to Condobolin for a research position.
Married a Condobolin-born man, who didn't have a property (he's a townie).
We had two amazing dogs for about 15 years but they've gone now and I haven't recovered enough for another.
We live in a small town on the NSW south coast, with a backyard full of native wildlife - frogs, skinks, lizards, snakes, spiders, possums and a gazillion birds.
I've always written but in 2006 after the Write in the Heart festival in Condobolin, I began to write for publication.
In 2008, I joined Romance Writers of Australia and without this fantastic organisation, I would never have been published.
I write a messy first draft where I get to find out the story and who the characters are. I love this bit!
I spend a long time making my mess sensible. Does the story make sense? Are the characters consistent? Are the words sensible? I love finishing this bit.